Challenging doping controls

Posted: January 29, 2009 in cycling
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Saw the following article this morning on the New York Times website and just have to wonder what the reaction from the sporting community would be if a professional cyclist had stood up and been as vocal against this ruling from the Belgium High Court? Take a look:

MELBOURNE, Australia — More than 60 Belgian athletes have formally challenged stricter antidoping rules that require athletes to keep testers apprised on a daily basis of their location.

The athletes are contending in Belgium’s high court that the rules are an invasion of privacy, and Rafael Nadal made it clear at the Australian Open that he agreed.

“These are things that have to be changed completely,” he said in Spanish on Wednesday after his quarterfinal victory over Gilles Simon. “The voice of the players is unanimous in the locker room. We’ve shown that we are a clean sport.”

Nadal called the revised rules “intolerable harassment.” As of this year, the world antidoping code requires top athletes, including leading tennis players, to let antidoping authorities know their exact whereabouts for one hour each day to facilitate testing.

“We are humans,” Nadal said, adding that athletes should not be made to feel like “delinquents” for playing sports.

It just doesn’t seem fair at all. If a tennis player (from a globally accepted sport) can be vocal about drug testing, then he must be just concerned about his privacy.  But if a cyclist (from a not so globally accepted sport and one that has regrettably been damaged by the use of drugs) is, then chances are that he must be a user of some sort and is trying to make the situation better for himself. Why else would he/she be outspoken about it.

Interesting nonetheless! Thanks to Lance for the heads-up on this one!


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